The Start of No Regret: Goldie on his New Project, Subjective
Goldie knows all about collaboration. In a multi-faceted, three-decades-plus career, stretching from Birmingham to Brooklyn, Timeless to Sine Tempore, Metalheadz to Maestro to an MBE, the artist, actor and label-runner has worked with B-boys and James Bond, graffiti crews and orchestras, and a kaleidoscope of fellow musicians and creatives including David Bowie, Kemistry, KRS-One, Idris Elba, Noel Gallagher, 4Hero, Pete Tong and Virgil Abloh. But with Subjective, a creative partnership with revered engineer and producer James Davidson, his objective was clear: to open himself up. The result is a musical project that’s Goldie’s most collaborative venture yet. A man bristling with ideas has never been more open to suggestion and invention. Today, we talk to Goldie about The Start of No Regret.
Alastair Duncan: You grew up in a very grey urban part of England. Were you exposed to a lot of music and art at that time? What was it that inspired you to pick up a can and start painting?
Goldie: I saw Subway Art, the book. I loved hip-hop we used to record lots of videos clips of hip-hop in New York. When Subway Art came out we all went out and stole the book and saw graffiti in New York and that was the beginning of that!
Did both music and art offer a path of escapism for you when you were a teenager? You've said art and music is what keeps you alive. Do they still now?
Yes, music and art has always been my go to thing which I think is an mazing experience.
NYC seems to have had a massive impact on you when you were younger - both in terms of your visual and musical art. What was it like being there as hip-hop and graffiti started to explode?
It was amazing to be there as one of the firsts, on the shoulder of giants. It was a fantastic experience I met lots of wonderful people namely Tats Cru, still with the crew now after 40 years. Nothing beats New York the smell, the dust, the pizza. amazing experience from a Freudian as well as cultural perspective.
Your new album as Subjective sees you collaborate with James Davidson. Is collaboration something you tend to embrace or turn away from as an artist?
No, I never collaborate with people at all. I just think James has earned his right as an artist on my label and engineer. I always felt in the latter part of my life I wanted to mentor someone from top to bottom. Because I’ve worked with James for many, many years he wasn’t someone that was going to go away, he was going to move forward. I just thought in my golden era it was good to take James and mentor him through this wonderful career.
I have heard that you have drawn track ideas out for collaborators. Do you see music in a visual way?
Yes, I see music, its called drawing a legend. It's an old process that people used to do in the 19th century. I like drawing out legends, it's something that familiar to school in the 80’s, a legend or someone people call it a leger. I like to have an idea and a concept before I even start. It's always been my way as a visual artist.
I imagine that you might be somewhat of an archivist. Collecting records as a DJ. Have you collected a lot of visual art as well? What tends to grab you about visual art that you like?
I love art , I collect art from all around the world, its soothing. I can’t imagine my life without art.
You cited as graffiti helping turn art into a 3D form. I know you've also been exploring the 3D music space. Do you think that has the power to transform music the way graffiti transformed art?
I think 3D music will give the listener a totally different experience of music like a suppose what good Dolby to movies and in the gaming industry surround sound. I think within the music experience I think it will be very important but I don’t think anything will ever be as impactful as graffiti was.
The Start of No Regret is out Friday May 20th